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Wawrinka’s overpowering win vs. Federer in the 2014 Monte-Carlo final


This story is courtesy of ATPTour.com.

Ten years ago, Stan Wawrinka beat his friend and rival Roger Federer in an all-Swiss final to claim his first and only ATP Masters 1000 title at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters. The milestone victory followed Wawrinka’s Australian Open title earlier in the 2014 season and demonstrated his clay-court prowess — a harbinger of his Roland Garros trophy run in 2015.

The third-seeded Wawrinka did not lose a set en route to the final, winning tie-breaks against Milos Raonic and David Ferrer to reach the title match. But he had to battle back from behind to secure a 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-2 victory against Federer.

“It’s amazing for me. It’s always special to play against Roger, my best friend and the best player ever,” Wawrinka, then 29, said post-match. “It’s always difficult to play him, especially in the final.”

Rain briefly suspended play after Wawrinka surrendered an early break advantage in set two, but the Swiss found a new gear when the match resumed. After clinching the second-set tie-break with an overhead, he stormed to a 4-0 lead in the final set by overpowering his countryman down the stretch.

Prior to the milestone win, Wawrinka had competed in two previous Masters 1000 finals in Rome (2008) and Madrid (2013). He would later reach the 2017 Indian Wells final.

“I did an amazing job this week, beating some amazing players. Physically, when I’m at my best, I have a chance to beat all those guys,” assessed Wawrinka, who cruised past Marin Cilic in his opening match. “I’m going to enjoy this, I think that’s important. It feels great, winning on clay, winning against Roger, it’s really special.”

Though Wawrinka was upset by an unseeded Lleyton Hewitt in the first round at Roland Garros later that season, the confidence he gained from his Monte-Carlo triumph helped him win his second major title in Paris in 2015.

For Federer, the Monte-Carlo defeat was one of his three losses to Wawrinka in their 25 Lexus ATP Head2Head meetings. It was also his fourth and final appearance in the Monte-Carlo title match, after three consecutive losses to Rafael Nadal from 2006-08. Monte-Carlo and Rome are the only two ATP Masters 1000s the Swiss did not win in his legendary career.

Despite his personal disappointment, the former No. 1 in the PIF ATP Rankings was quick to credit his good friend for his effort in the final.

“Of course, I’m very happy for Stan,” Federer, then 32, told reporters. “To take the opportunities when they’re there, that’s key in a tennis player’s career.

“I think it’s one of the those finals that I could have won. But Stan was tougher at the end. I think he deserved it just a little bit more.”

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